Japanese Viewers Slow to Follow Digital TV Route

05 December 2006

TOKYO: Digital television access is expanding in Japan and now covers 84% of households, but viewers are not rushing to buy compatible TV sets and tuners.

Figures form the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association show just about 30% of homes have digitally-enabled devices and many analysts fear the nation will not be able to meet the government's 2011 digital switchover deadline.

Hiroyoshi Sunakawa, professor at Rikkyo University says broadcasters need to provide attractive services to justify the financial commitment required of consumers.

He adds: "[They] will not feel satisfied - as they did when they switched from black-and-white to color TVs - unless broadcasters offer digital-only services such as data broadcasts, in addition to improved picture quality."

Data sourced from Asahi Shimbun Online; additional content by WARC staff